Ten Ideas to Revive Your Quiet Time with Jesus

Listen to the One Voice: An Except from Finding Balance by Alecia Baptiste

quiet time for mompreneursWe live in a culture where there are so many voices. There are the voices of your parents. The voices of your teachers and coaches.  There are the voices of the media. There is the voice of your doctor. There are the voices of your friends. There are the voices of the books you read. There are voices coming from every direction. Everybody has an opinion about what you should be doing. Everyone has an agenda for you and your family. 
It can be so overwhelming and confusing!
The voices keep us full of fear of not getting it all done or not doing it all right. The voices burden us with guilt. The voices keep us striving to do the next thing. The voices keep us confused about what we should be doing.  
I propose that we spend less time listening to the voices and more time listening to the ONE VOICE that really matters. Only One voice brings peace to the soul and freedom from guilt and fear. Only one voice lightens our burdens and heals our deepest pain. Only one voice resurrects the dead, and turns darkness into light.
That one voice is the voice of the Creator of the Universe, the Living Word, the All-powerful One, Our Father, our Lord and Savior.
I have found that the more time I spend listening to His voice, the more peace, clarity and joy I have. On the contrary, the more time I spend listening to the voices, the more I strive, the more confusion I experience and the less content I am. The voices put me on the perpetual  treadmill. The ONE VOICE bring rest to my soul.
So what does that look like for me practically?

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The Myth of the Perfect Mom

The Myth of the Perfect MomLately, I’ve been encountering this idea of the perfect mom.  We all seem to be striving for it, and falling miserably short. Yet, we look at other moms and think, “Wow, she’s such a good mom.”  Of course, she seems perfect.

I think in this modern culture where we’re able to connect with so many people from around the world, and yet not really know them, it’s so easy to perpetuate the myth of the perfect mom.  We read a blog or Facebook post about something one mom is doing something with her kids, and we think, “She’s a perfect mom.  I’m not doing that. I’m not perfect.”  As a result, we feel guilty, inadequate, and maybe even resentful.Inline image 1

We live in a culture where appearances are important. We like showing others our successes. We like showing our accomplishments. Our highlights. Our good days. Does anybody post a picture of their children pouting? Do we post the poop that our two year old smeared on the wall?  Do we post pictures of us arguing with our teen? Do we post our tears of frustration?  No. We post the happy moments. The proud moments.

Nothing wrong with that. (I doubt you really wanted to see our poop wall mural.)

It’s just that others are left thinking life is all good for us. And we think life is all good for them. So we leave their perfectly clean, spotlessly decorated homes feeling defeated. Their children love doing chores.  Their children love reading. Their children love serving others.  Their children get their chores done without being told. Their children love eating healthy foods.

And we leave thinking, “What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I get my children to ……..?”

Let me make this more personal. I often feel like such a failure as a mom. My failures and imperfections are like neon signs announcing, “You’re not a good mom! Who are you to give advice to others? You’re not accomplishing anything!”

My usual response to these accusations is to sit in a corner and have a pity party, and then with new determination and fire, I come out swinging like a boxer making a comeback. I begin barking orders, setting new rules and generally being a pain in the you-know-what because I want things to be better. My goal: fix my failures. Strengthen my weaknesses. Do it ALL right.

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My Secrets to Success

By Alecia Baptiste

My Secrets to SuccessCan I let you in on a little secret?
Often people wonder how I homeschool three children, care for our family, write,  speak, run a business and have time to go on trips around the world. Often I hear, “You’re super talented and amazing and I could NEVER do what you do.” Nope, that’s not it. Or, “You are a saint, a super christian and extremely patient.” Again. No. And No. And No.
Here’s my secret. Actually, my secrets.
1. I’m surrounded by SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE. My number one supporter is: Edward Baptiste, my husband. He doesn’t just put up with my “projects.” He wholeheartedly supports them. He gives me the freedom to fly. He listens for hours upon hours as I work through obstacles, brainstorm and share my disappointments. But more importantly, this man really LOVES me and PRAYS with me and for me.
As a side note, I don’t listen to negative people. Their voices are on mute. (Still love them, though!)

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There is No Grace for Your Imagination

There is No Grace for Your ImaginationFor some reason, my children love asking me hypothetical questions like, “Mom, what would you do if I took your phone and threw it on the floor?” Or “What would you do if I punched you in the face and ran out the door screaming?” My response is, “I don’t waste brain power on hypothetical situations.”  I have enough real problems that I need to ponder and pray over.  I don’t need to waste my energy on imagined problems.
Silly, right?
But how many of us put ourselves  in hypothetical  scenarios without realizing it? I’ve done it to my self A LOT. I look at a situation that someone is in and think to myself, “I can’t imagine going through that.” All the while, I’m trying to imagine how I would handle the situation. And really… I can’t. I believe that our imaginations were never meant to be used that way. Our imaginations were given to us to create, not to “see” into the future or to project ourselves into someone else’s situation.

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The Quiet Uprising

The Quiet UprisingThere’s a quiet uprising happening all over the world. It’s not on the front pages of the newspaper. You won’t hear about it when you watch the evening news. But make no mistake about it. This uprising is REAL. Love is invading our world! That’s why hate must fight back so vehemently and so loudly–banging its drums saying, “Look at me! Look at me!” Though hate noisily draws attention to itself, love quietly invades.

Love makes its way into the darkest places as people choose to let love in. Love reigns supremely as we meet together plotting love invasions in our neighborhoods, schools and businesses. It shows itself when couples choose to remain faithful to one another in spite of pain and disappointment, when parents refuse to give up on children who rebel, when parents choose relationships over careers and the culture’s definition of success, and as single people fight to remain pure in the midst of a sex crazed culture.

Love destroys the walls that separate us. Misunderstanding is transformed into the willingness to listen. Biases transform into understanding. Fear is cast out! Deep wounds are healed. Ashes become magnificent masterpieces. Captives are set free!

Love may be quiet and tender, but do not dismiss its power! It doesn’t require political, economic or social influence. It needs no college degree or any other qualifications. It doesn’t require fame or fortune. Its power can be wielded by a little tot, a frail elderly person or an impoverished and forgotten woman. Love only requires an open heart, and a willingness to allow its beauty and power to be released to those in its vicinity.

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You are More Than Your Job or Your Role

You are More Than Your Job or Your Role

I believe that all of life begins with who we are. We have to answer this question. As I have mentored women and worked with students, it always comes down to this basic question first. When the question of “Who am I?” isn’t settled, we find ourselves trying to prove our worth or value.

When we introduce ourselves to someone, we start with who we are.  I’m a mother. A wife. A teacher. I’m a chef. A lawyer. A cheerleader. An artist. 

Most of us find our identity in what we are able to accomplish. So when we’re able to accomplish something that society deems worthy of recognition, we feel like we matter. On the flip side, when we aren’t able to accomplish something worthy of recognition, we find ourselves feeling like a failure.  Our lives don’t seem to matter. 

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